Eyes widen. Pupils dilate. Electric wave flows through as neurons blowing, nuclei-kicking. T H I S I S I T

Woods, woods, concrete contours, a cavalcade of mismatched chairs listening. I mean it. Listen… That’s right, that’s your algorithm’s jam. That hissing air pushing through closed teeth—no full-throated roar of steaming steam over steamed to hear here. And look on the counter—concrete note—look at those luscious folds of laminated, crispy but not too crisp dough. Soft and buttery, pillowy in the middle they imagine biting through to light up, caress, make love to that VR chocolate chorizo small produce cheese and organic ham vanilla custard something pulled cruff-kro-croiss panache of that pain oh pain of perfection.

Oh gosh. Oh shit!

Dopamine hits. Surges. Neuro-anticipation as it builds it’s crashing a dam. Norepinephrine is too bursting the dam flooding through the Seoul. At least for now, an opiodal X to sea. Pleasant feelings suffuse and soak the grey matter. This is it, they think, or nothing. Who knows? Right now mines a soaking rag’o’satisfaction. This is how I came here. This place, this street, this quarter, this city, this country, this world, this existence, this nothingness beyond. This time and time again.


Mortadella and truffle. That’s a new one. Quite clever, they chuckle. Artisan rye. A local take. Nice, makes a change. Not that I don’t still love a crunchy sour, mind you. But gotta keep it moving forward. Right? Moving forward while going back local. They congratulate themselves, the other? Not clear. Both maybe. A clap on the back for their taste and imagination. Never failing to satisfy. Always in the same way, a tiny voice screams.

They take in a cruffin—a modern classic if there ever was. Somewhat of a something must, though a true Ansel cronut is definitely better. Ah. There it is, they think. The thought occurs, but a little strange how not much happens. A jump. A hop more like. A soft peak. A blip on the MRI. It’s there for sure. That familiar soothing wave. But barely. Smoothed out this time, the mountains and valleys all ground out. Maybe another spro will do the trick.

At the thought, the eyes widen, pupils dilate, and the electro-neuro-chemical wave starts to spread in anticipation again.

First sip: sour, raw. Face puckers, sinuses shut up shop and push away. (Ugh) So f’ing good, they tell themselves. Which one is it? Unfinished driftwood, stripped back on the surface. No repeats, very tastefully combined. Nordic minimalism plus a little southern max. Brooklyn, Copenhagen, Barcelona in the family tree for sure. All Berlin, no doubt. But just right. It’s alright to have origin(S) if it’s the perfect blend up in here. Another find, a secret local gem unlocked by them and their unique discerning sense for the thing. Pull out the phone, open the app, tick another one off.


40000 steps

4 destinations 1 for every 10k

0 lonely, tripadvised, netflicked, four who cares, liked a local, bucket-listed, influenced by 100k stops

6 quarters, hoods, bydele, districts, barrios, rajoonid. A-rron-diss-ements

3 metro lines and a tram

8 coffees 2 batch 2 pour 3 spros 1 drill down to the cor-ta-do

1 croissant 3 buns 2 cinnamon 1 cardamon 1 unique local take 1 experimental bake 1 modern classic miso cheese and kraut

3 brewing convos

4 cities cited

5 names dropped

28 photos of shapes, colours, and materials

0 tourist traps, top attractions, museums, galleries, must dos, zoos, ships, castles, sights, sounds

1 city done completed

Off the list and move on


Shivering. Shaking. (The ol’shiver shake I own ya) Keep it steady. Still and stable. Yeah, it’s all good. Just a little excitement. Cognitive, psychological, physical metrics all functioning within the species-typical range as evolved for environment and needs in line with loose but demarcated minimal sufficient but not necessary conditions and social norms, conventions, naturally reacting to a well-conceived pursuit of the good that motivates the development of the capacities with which to mainline well-being. In short: all fucking good. Nothing to see here. Just a cool guy, in a cool place, at a cool time. Calm collected. Stability rules, right?


Double anaerobic catui at 1700 metres over sea-level, La Chumeca, Costa Rica. Kiwi, flambeed pineapple, mulled wine, and just a hint of burnt toast. Surfing still on the nowhere wave. Another hit of anhedonia flattening out. A flat gray, you could call it. Nothing. Not any. Not now, not then, no more. All good. Be who you want to be not who you are what I was what I am. Can’t stop now. I’m just defined that way.


Back out the street, zip-up, scarf pulled tight. It’s cold out, but that dry cold, not the damp chill to the bones of home. Still, it is cold. Better wrap up, move on. Check out that exhibition they said was worth the detour. What’s the route, what’s the way. I’ll tap it in so it’s buzzing on my wrist not glowin’ in my face and I can keep an eye on the cityscape. A tech-enhanced 21st century flaneur with a hunger and some. Energising, absorbing, engaging, experience the near but always far from here. Culture never stands still, right, so why should we? Let’s take the old ways, plate them back up with some start-up Brooklyn-Scandi-Berlin-RVK and a little former-Soviet grit. Oh right, That Coffee Place, y’know the one, just ten blocks from here. Gotta step in to try it after. A quick stop on the way to soaking in some culture.

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